Friday , July 30 2021

Afghanistan being embarrassed by officials’ ‘idiotic statements’

National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf on Thursday said that Afghanistan is being embarrassed daily due to “idiotic statements” passed by its senior officials.

“Vitriolic & delusional statements from some spoilers in Kabul who, unfortunately for our Afghan brothers and sisters, are imposed on them as their senior officials & are constantly attempting to vitiate bilateral relations on purpose to deflect attention from their own failures,” Moeed wrote on his official Twitter handle.

He said that Afghanistan is being embarrassed daily due to these idiotic statements, adding that Afghans should rest assured that everyone can see through the nefarious agenda of these spoilers.

“We will not let a handful of venomous minds affect Pakistan’s support to ALL Afghans for peace and stability,” he added.

The NSA said that Pakistan remained committed to facilitating an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan. “In this spirit, PM Imran Khan agreed to meet President Ghani recently to continue our engagement.”

On July 16, Premier Imran had told President Ghani that Pakistan would be the last county to try to destabilise his country and stressed the need for the Afghan stakeholders and the international community to gear up efforts for a “politically negotiated settlement” there.

Responding to the speech of Ghani at a conference on ‘Central and South Asia Regional Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities’ in Tashkent, Imran said that blaming Pakistan for the ongoing unrest in the war-battered country was “extremely unfair”.

Read more: ‘Extremely unfair’ to blame Pakistan for Afghan unrest

“Mr Ghani, I want to make it clear to you that Pakistan will be the last country to think about supporting turmoil and unrest in Afghanistan,” the prime minister said. “Blaming Pakistan for what is going on in Afghanistan is extremely unfair…Peace in Afghanistan is our foremost priority.”

He asked Afghanistan to consider Pakistan as a “partner of peace” rather than blaming it for the ongoing unrest, which he said was the “outcome of using a military solution by the United States instead of a political one”.

Rejecting the assertions of Ghani made against Pakistan for “not supporting peace”, Imran categorically stated that Pakistan did not want turmoil in its neighbourhood because peace was in its own interest. He added that Pakistan would continue to support reconciliation in Afghanistan.

He mentioned that due to the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan, Pakistan suffered heavily in terms of its 70,000 casualties, besides facing huge economic instability. He also mentioned 3 million Afghan refugees and added that Pakistan did not have the capacity to bear another influx.

PM Imran said that Pakistan’s economy is recovering after a difficult phase. “Pakistan wants peace in the neighbourhood to ensure the completion of development projects for the betterment of the entire region.”

Read: Lawmakers call for unity to face emanating Afghan challenges

The premier said Pakistan had made every effort for peace in Afghanistan, including bringing the Taliban to the dialogue table. However, he said that the right time to engage the Taliban in negotiations was way before the pull-out of the US troops from Afghanistan.

“Why would the Taliban listen to Pakistan at a time when they are gaining victory after the withdrawal of troops,” he pointed out, adding that the US always insisted on a military solution to the Afghan conflict.

He referred to his talks with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Thursday, in which, he said, he discussed just how the neighbouring countries of Central Asia could support peace and stability in Afghanistan for the region’s prosperity.

Pakistan, he continued, believed in regional connectivity by promoting the land and sea linkages. He said Pakistan’s Gwadar seaport had the potential to cater to the needs of Central Asia and South Asia as a regional transportation hub. He described the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the harbinger of development and prosperity for the region, benefitting the two regions.

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